Barbara Kingsolver is a bestselling author who has won many literary awards and been featured on Oprah’s Book Club selection. Kingsolver was previously known for her book, “The Poisonwood Bible,” but her newest work, “Animal Vegetable Miracle,” is quickly changing that.
Kingsolver’s book is a self-exposing, day-to-day explanation of how she lived one year, with her family, only eating what they grew or what they could get locally. The book is interwoven with short essays by her husband, Steven L. Hopp (a biologist), and health-related, and surprisingly well-written, entries by her oldest daughter, Camille Kingsolver. Each individual brings a unique perspective to the year this family spent eating only local food.
Kingsolver is the kind of writer readers can identify with. The book begins with the family’s move from Tucson to a farm in Virginia, where the family plans to live one year either growing and raising their food or being able to buy it within an hours’ drive.
Of course, the family had exceptions. Her husband chose coffee, and she chose chocolate, both on the basis that neither of their choices were available locally. Of course, they chose fair-trade varieties of their guilty pleasures. Despite the exceptions, the journey of Kingsolver and her family is fascinating, addicting, and an example that Americans really can know where all their food comes from.
The book takes its readers through a journey that most Americans aren’t familiar with. The logistics of feeding a family of four for an entire year on food that is either grown or raised by the family or purchased locally are documented. Kingsolver also discusses her journey to find like-minded individuals, including Amish friends and a trip to Italy yielding seeds of a fascinating pumpkin variety.
This book is about food, but it is about much more than just the calories that we eat. It is about family, because Kingsolver couldn’t have done it without helping hands. It’s also about living intentionally; planning a year’s worth of food for four mouths isn’t as easy as going to the grocery store when locality is involved. Kingsolver takes her readers through a journey that celebrates food and the joy that the abundance of food in season brings. It is a fantastic book that is at the top of the list for anyone looking to live eco-friendly and in harmony with their environment. It will change the way you think and eat, guaranteed.